Here is one for the true brownstone lover who is ready to put the work in to preserve the abundance of intact interior details in this 1870s Clinton Hill Italianate. Plasterwork, mantels, marble sinks, lighting fixtures, interior shutters; it is all here, although in estate condition.
Within the Clinton Hill Historic District, the house at 196 Greene Avenue is classic Italianate on the exterior, one of a row of three with segmental-arched pediments with foliate brackets above the entrances, more foliate brackets at the parlor level windows and at the cornice above. The designation report, written in 1981, cites the “particularly fine” double doors at No. 196. The report dates the row to circa 1870 and period advertisements show the houses in place at least by 1873. That year No. 196 is advertised for sale “at a bargain” as a three story plus basement and cellar dwelling with hot and cold water, washtubs, speaking tubes, a heater in the cellar and a new paint job.
By 1875 it was home to the William and Hannah Cotton family, the first of a string of families that would hold onto the house for about four decades each. The current owners purchased the house in 1971 when “brownstoners” were discovering neighborhoods rich with homes of architectural character at less expensive prices.
The Brownstone Revival Committee’s 1969 booklet “Home-Buyers Guide to New York City Brownstone Neighborhoods” described Clinton Hill as a neighborhood with “many mansions and brownstones available for renovation” and at “real bargains” between $7,000 and $45,000. No 196, which had been used as a boarding house at points in the 20th century, sold for $28,000 to the new preservation-minded owners.
The two-family house reflects that era of renovation in the kitchen and baths but elsewhere the interior details are pure 19th century. There are double parlors with elaborate plasterwork, Italianate marble mantels, pocket doors and bracketed niches.
Upstairs, two bedrooms have niches for marble sinks and are joined with a passthrough with built-ins that could use some TLC. Period-appropriate lighting fixtures are in place in several of the rooms.
Not pictured, but mentioned in the listing is an original coal-burning stove still in place.
According to the listing, there are six bedrooms, three baths and two kitchens, but there isn’t a floor plan included. The listing also notes it is an “as-is” sale.
Priced at $2.795 million, it’s listed with Greg Balderacchi of Homelister. Worth the ask?
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